Definition – (of a disease) prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.
What is going on with humanity on this planet is unprecedented in my medium plus sized lifetime. There has been changes to almost every area of my lifestyle. There are countless ways to view the realities of the cause and effects that are birthed out of these changes. I am drawn first to the negative aspects of COVID-19 because I am a critical thinker in my initial evaluations most of the time. ( As a side note, this should tell you that I am not a Believer just because The Bible Tells Me So! ) But as I began to live in my new Social Distancing world, I can see a lot of negative AND positive attributes. I personally have heard several questions raised by believers and nonbelievers alike. They are; Is this the beginning of the end times, did God cause this and one of the most common questions in humanity, if God is so good, why do bad things happen to good people?
The more dire a situation is and becomes, the more we have a tendency to ask questions we suppress during times of normalcy. Questions that relate to the deeper or more relavant issues in life. The trappings we fill our life with, as we discussed in previous blogs on ‘Filling the More’ fade to the background and the truly important things come to the surface. Giving credible evidence that you were made for something more and are aware of it. ‘Brokenness’ is another area we become aware of. Isn’t it something how we work both ends of the spectrum. On one hand, we fall into the self preservation mode. In the south where I live, during the winter when a chance of snow is predicted a week away, we begin to hover over our preferred weather information devices. We track the possibilty of being covered in a Winter Wonderland while entertaining visions of snowmen, sledding and coffee by a crackling fire. As the impending 2 inch blizzard looms closer we begin to get antsy, eagerly anticipating tomorrows forecast. Finally! the day is here and YESSSS!! the forecast is still positive calling for an 8o% chance of snow in the 2 to 6 inch range!! And then it begins, a redneck meltdown, assaulting every grocery store within a 20 mile radious for what ?bread and milk! What about charcoal and carrots for our snowman? Or a rush on Goodwill for a top hat and scarf for Frosty? Nope, it’s Food Lion for bread and milk.
I have seen the same behavior during the pandemic. Really? An unprecedented run on toilet paper? After 4 months of Social Distancing, Shelter in Place and life basically going on as normal, still, No Toilet Paper on the shelves!? Really? And what is next on the list but guns and ammo. The list goes on and on to provide evidence of the self preservation mode humanity can default to and if you are of a naturalistic worldview, I can understand the fear and uncertainty pertaining to the future. But on the flip side, I see alot of good going on. People providing goods and services for those in need and the elderly. Seemingly not worried about their own welfare only but alos the welfare of others. It is so good there are alot of individuals and organizations that do this on a regular basis, but there is something about humanity that rises to the occassion when times of trouble or devastation fall upon the land. Believer, non believer, atheist, agnostic, religious or non religious, it just doesn’t seem to matter, and this is such a good thing. One thing that makes me sad though, in the middle of all the compassion we see in such times as this is, it is a shame it takes some form of a disaster to bring about TRUE diversity on a wider and even global scale. A diversity that includes, not excludes, the Christian. Not a diversity that is imposed by men or governments, but one that is extruded from the heart and is truely an evidence there is such a thing as good.
With this being said, I believe the the current circumstances speak loudly into the question that ask’s ‘ if there is a God, why do things like disease exist’? This is a very good question. If you seek deep theological answers backed up with scientific fact wrapped up neatly in a philosophical presentation, you won’t get that here. But if you do, I suggest you look to RZIM for that type of research. But in my simplistic approach, as a Believer, I trust in the fact of the Bible as being a historical document compiled, as well as dissected, for over 3000 years. It clearly tells us that the world was not designed with the brokeness we see around us today, death, disease, famine, pestulance, war, racism, suffering etc.. We also know that the world will not stay this way. There will be a time when God’s perfect creation will be restored. So this is part of the Hope that I have, but in the meantime, we must endure the current state of earth. But the brokenness of earth is not what God is concerned with most. He is most concerned with the brokenness of humanity, and specifially, the heart. In the life of Jesus we see a perfect example. In the 9th chapter of the book of John, Jesus came upon a man who had been blind from birth. His followers asked him, who’s sin, this man or his parents, caused him to be blind? Isn’t it funny, humanity hasn’t changed in over 2000 years, we think God is unfair, punishing someone for not following his rules everytime we see sickness, disease and death. But God, ( as a side note my favorite phrase in the Bible), seems to always see things from a different perspective as we do. Jesus responded neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so the works of God might be displayed in him. And there is your short answer, bad things happen so that good things may result and people turn to God. The COVID-19 birthed the Stay-at-Home order to seperate people, but God used it to bring them closer together. COVID-19 said churches could no longer meet for Worship, but God has brought millions of unbelievers to their screens to listen to what the He has to say about the pandemic. COVID-19 has brought an economic shutdown slowing the pace of Americans to a crawl and I would be very intersted in knowing the facts such as, have there been less stress induced medical emergencies and are children getting to enjoy their parents more? I would venture to say the answer is, unscientifically, yes!! So keep reading the book of John, ask Him to show up for you and look around this week to see all the good the pandemic is bringing about and if the virus has directly effected you, may the God of all comfort give you answers and peace in this most difficult time.
“Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.”
― Mother Teresagoodreads